Welcome to our first ever Impact Report for 2020-21 FY!
At Zea, we believe all businesses have an obligation to care for people and the planet. From our locally and sustainably sourced botanical ingredients, to our eco-friendly packaging, through to the way we run our family owned, Australian company – we believe in taking responsibility.
Last year, we made a commitment to do more good, and we’ve produced this – our first Impact Report – to show you the steps we have taken to help make a positive impact on the world. Throughout this report, you’ll see the progress we have made on our impact journey. We will share with you our current impact projects, and our future plans.
While we are proud of these first steps we are taking to increase our positive impact, we know we have a long way to go, and we must strive for continuous improvement. Sharing our progress with our Zea community is a key part of that commitment. And the publication of this annual impact report, is our promise to you.
Let’s dive in!
We’ve always had, at our core, a focus on putting people first. We make sure everyone who is part of the Zea family – from our customers, to our employees, suppliers and our producers – feel empowered and respected.
Whenever possible, Zea sources from local suppliers. This helps create jobs and thriving local communities. The bulk of our suppliers are environmentally friendly, producing organic products and goods, using sustainable farming methods and eco-friendly production practices. For example, one of Zea's longest manufacturing partners is Australian owned, and AS, ISO, Organic compliant.
As an Australian family business, Zea is proud to help create local jobs, build environmentally and socially sustainable communities, and drive industry innovation.
At Zea, creating an inclusive and diverse workforce is a priority.
We are committed to gender equality and as it currently stands, over 70% of our team is female. And all our staff are paid above the minimum wage. We are committed to supporting the learning and development of our staff and last year, we started a professional development program to help support the individual aspirations of each of our team members.
We genuinely promote flexible, remote working, and believe in a positive work/life balance. We also believe in supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff. Last year, we implemented weekly meditation sessions.
We also believe our staff should play a role in designing what their workplace is like. Last year, we started an annual employee feedback survey. The feedback our team members gave us has been implemented across the business to help create an environment where our employees feel represented and supported. We are proud to say that in this employee feedback survey, 100% of our team told us that they planned to still be working at Zea in the next two years!
Zea designs high quality products that are rigorously researched and tested, with the goal to enrich people’s wellbeing and livelihood.
Last year we regularly sought feedback from customers from the types of products they want through to who they want Zea to donate to. This means that Zea is listening to its customers every step of the way to drive real, proactive change.
At Zea, we care deeply about the planet and are always striving to leave earth in a better place than how we found it. In order to reduce our environmental impact, we are committed to formulating our products with natural, eco-friendly and Native Australian ingredients. Over 98% of our ingredients are natural and many are organically grown here in Australia, which means no nasties for both planet and people.
Where possible, we work with farmers, manufacturers and suppliers who are committed to sustainable farming and fair trade practices. These farmers do not use artificial fertilisers, pesticides or GMOs when harvesting crops.
Many of our suppliers are also COSMOS and cGMP certified, ensuring the quality and sustainability of all ingredients, so we can produce natural products that benefit people and reduce the impact on our planet.
When it comes to Kunzea – the key ingredient in many Zea products – we source this remarkable native botanical (alongside raw honey varieties, and several other ingredients) from Flinders Island, Tasmania. Flinders Island is implementing a renewable energy hub, which will enable the island to be powered by 60% renewable energy on average. Exciting!
In 2020-21, we completed an audit to help identify opportunities to improve our packaging. We moved our biggest selling product, the Kunzea Pain Relief Cream to a 32% recycled plastic tube.
We also investigated ways to reduce the amount of product packaging we create, and ways to make our packaging more recyclable. For example, we launched our Kunzea Pain Relief Cream (Bulk Size) to help reduce the amount of packaging we put out into the world.
Our design team also uncovered other ways to reduce packaging such as screen printing labels instead of sticker labels which means less packaging produced, as well as increased recyclability of packaging.
Similarly, we try to ensure all orders we ship out are plastic-free. While a few may escape through the cracks, and we may use bubble wrap on a rare occasion when an order is particularly fragile, they are the exception to the rule.
We are also constantly striving to ensure most of our promotional material and leaflets are made from 100% recycled material, and that our product packaging, cartons, shipping boxes and marketing materials are as environmentally friendly as possible.
Ultimately, we aim to continually improve in this area and find innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
We’re on a mission to reduce our carbon footprint, striving to become certified carbon neutral by 2025.
With a strong commitment to sourcing and manufacturing products locally in Australia, that means we are able to reduce transportation related carbon emissions.
We also adhere to a green office policy by operating our company 100% virtually, and providing environmental stewardship to our employees.
But we’re not stopping there. Our next step is to review our emissions audit and see where we can reduce our impact even further.
We believe, with the help of our Zea community, we can make a real difference in the world. We support and partner with people, groups and projects that are focused on creating positive change and long-term impact. Here are some initiatives we have proudly contributed to in 2020/21:
1% for the Planet
In 2020-21 we joined 1% for the Planet. That means, as a member we donate 1% of all our revenue to help support environmental and social non profits that are committed towards driving positive change for our planet.
Above is a breakdown of the percentage of revenue donated to each charitable organisation.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $3,140 to Greenfleet, planting 314 native trees to help reduce our environmental impact and carbon emissions.
Greenfleet is a leading not-for-profit organisation and Australia’s first carbon offset provider, committed to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. They plant native biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand to restore critical ecosystems and capture carbon emissions on behalf of their supporters. Their forests are legally protected, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, improve soil and water quality, and provide vital habitat for native wildlife. Their partnerships with local communities and Traditional Owners support broad benefits for the country and communities in which we live and work. Since 1997 Greenfleet has planted over 9.6 million native trees across more than 500 biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand. Their forests are legally protected for up to 100 years.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $900.00 to Ozharvest to deliver meals to people in need.
OzHarvest is Australia's leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, directly and free of charge, to more than 1,300 charities supporting people in need. Starting with one van in Sydney back in 2004, OzHarvest has grown to become a national charity and have delivered 180 million meals thus far, across 1462 charities from 3253 food donors.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $1,200.00 in membership dues to 1% for the Planet, and $12,041.00 in advertising to help 1% for the Planet build awareness around their mission.
As a 1% for the Planet member, we pay annual membership dues at sign up, and each year upon renewing membership. Membership dues count toward our overall annual giving pledge. The minimum dues payment is 10% of our total pledge (or a minimum of $50, whichever is greater). 1% for the Planet annual membership dues help to cover operational costs associated with certifying member donations, building updated marketing assets, researching and vetting nonprofit partners, and hosting networking events. Annual dues also allow 1% for the Planet to invest in growing their global network by reaching out to new potential members and educating consumers about the value of supporting 1% for the Planet members in contributing to a better world.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $800.00 to Planet Ark, Australia’s most trusted environmental organisation.
Established in 1992, Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that helps individuals, communities, governments and businesses reduce their impact on the environment. Several major events are organised by Planet Ark including National Tree Day; National Recycling Week and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge. The organisation began many high profile campaigns that have since either moved to other providers or become staples of the public recycling sphere, including 'Cards 4 Planet Ark', 'Phones for Planet Ark', Steel Can and Aluminium Can (Al Cans) recycling to name a few. Planet Ark's main objectives are to promote sustainable resource use, encourage low carbon lifestyles and connect people with nature. Since 1996, 5 million volunteers have donated 10 million hours to plant 26 million trees through National Tree Day, an initiative we have been very proud to support.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $2600.00 to Wheen Bee Foundation, to help address the national and global threats to bees by providing funding for much-needed research and education.
The Wheen Bee Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit charity that promotes awareness of the importance of bees for food security, and raises funds for research that addresses the national and global threats to bees. They fund vital strategic research and education initiatives that strengthen honey and native bees, improve pollination efficiency and increase food security. We couldn’t think of a more perfectly aligned charity to engage with, given our interest in gourmet honey and ethical bee-keeping!
In 2020-21, Zea donated $780.00 to Sea Shepherd Australia to protect our ocean.
Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organisation that campaigns to defend, conserve and protect the world’s ocean. From the gentle giants of the sea to its smallest creatures, their mission is to protect all marine life species, end the destruction of habitat in the world’s oceans and enforce international conservation laws. Since 1977, Sea Shepherd’s campaigns have defended whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins, turtles, fish, krill and aquatic birds from poaching, unsustainable fishing, habitat destruction, and exploitive captivity. Sea Shepherd volunteers have helped collect over 3.3 million pieces of ocean debris since 2016 and have saved more than 6000 whales from being illegally slaughtered since 2002, amongst many other admirable initiatives.
In 2020-21, Zea donated $780.00 to the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust to bring together Indigenous ranger groups, communities and philanthropists to address some of our nation’s most pressing issues.
The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust was established by the Traditional Owners of Warddeken and Djelk Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) in 2010. The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust works with Indigenous ranger groups in one of the most culturally rich and biodiverse regions of Australia: West and Central Arnhem Land. They bring rangers and philanthropists together to address environmental conservation, ranger employment, and the intergenerational transfer of Indigenous knowledge. The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust current partners manage over 50,000 square kilometres of West and Central Arnhem Land. Fundraising efforts from 2019-2020 generated an income of $2.86 million to go towards new and existing projects, and expand the number of ranger groups the charity works with.
We are constantly making changes and improvements to the business to be more sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ll be working on over the next 12 months:
- TERRACYCLE ZERO WASTE BOX - We will be implementing a new recycling program through the TerraCycle® Zero Waste Box™ in 2021/22 FY which allows packaging that cannot be kerbside recycled to be sent back to us so we can guarantee they are recycled effectively through the TerraCycle® Zero Waste Box™ solutions.
- CERTIFIED CARBON NEUTRAL - We are committed to measuring our carbon footprint and working towards becoming 100% carbon neutral.
- LEAPING BUNNY CERTIFICATION - We are working toward Leaping Bunny Certification. Our products aren’t and have never been tested on animals so we wanted to make it official by joining the Leaping Bunny program.
- B CORP CERTIFIED - We are working on becoming B Corp Certified. As a Certified B Corp, we are committed to using the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
- RECYCLED MATERIAL - We will continue the process of assessing our packaging and taking steps towards making it more environmentally friendly wherever possible.
… plus so much more!
No matter how far we have come with our environmental and social efforts, we understand that there is more work to do. We know that in order to tackle the big challenges we are better off striving for progress, not perfection. There’s a long way to go, but it’s a journey we’re willing to go on. Thank you for being part of our Zea journey. We could not have done it without you!
Founder & Managing Director, Zea
AUTHOR - HAYDEN BRASS
For the past few years, Hayden has lived and breathed Zea. He has been the driving force behind turning what was a family project into a real business that could positively impact millions of people throughout the world. It's Hayden's personal mission to develop products that have a positive impact on people’s lives and well-being. When he is not working and talking about Kunzea Oil, Hayden enjoys getting outdoors into nature and exploring the beautiful planet in which we call home.